Archive for February, 2009

News: Ryanair to charge for the BATHROOM?!

I understand times are tough. I understand the airlines are feeling it. AND I understand that Ryanair offers ridiculously cheap flights. The fact that they’re considering putting coin slots in the wc doors, however, is ridiculous. *sigh* Read more at Yahoo.

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February 27, 2009 at 1:39 pm 2 comments

Amsterdam crackdown on brothels, marijuana cafes, etc.

Back in December, I read this article on Tripso about Amsterdam’s plans to crack down on brothels, marijuana cafes, and sex shops. Specifically:

They plan to close more than half the city’s brothels, sex shops, peep shows, and marijuana cafes, in order to drive organized crime from the city.

A friend of mine is heading there in about a month, and I was wondering if there had been any progress with this.  I found this clip from Attack of the Show, and I learned a little more.  They closed about 1/5 of the the marijuana cafes because of their proximity to schools.  Plans are to shut down more cafes and brothels over the next 10 years.

Oops!  You figured me out.  I mainly was thinking about this as a way to torture you with more of my Amsterdam pictures.  😉  What do you think – is the pic of the bikes better in black and white or color?

February 25, 2009 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

TTT: Train v. plane in the UK

Friends of mine are visiting Ireland and the UK in early June.  They’re flying in and out of Dublin and want to drive around in Ireland, blitz through London, check out Edinburgh and Loch Ness, and see Canterbury, Stonehenge, Bath, and Birmingham.  Wow!  They have to be in Birmingham in the middle of the trip, so they’re in the process of laying out a plan.  One of the biggest issues with their planning is the big train v. plane debate.  You ask, “It’s really a debate?”  Yep, it sure is.  This Travel Tip Tuesday, I’m going to share my view on this debate.

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February 24, 2009 at 9:42 pm 1 comment

TTT: Tips for photographers

If you travel, you really ought to love photography as well – those pictures serve not only as proof that you were there but also reminders of the good times you had.  Here are some tips for preparing to take those photos before you ever leave home:

  1. Make sure you take enough memory.  Picture this: You’re on a Greek cruise.  It’s been the trip of a lifetime, and you’re at the final port.  You lift your camera to snap the perfect photo of a bird flying by a gorgeous cathedral and – oops!  Insufficient memory.  If you take a lot of pictures like I do, make sure you have as much memory as you can possibly stand to purchase.  On our 7 night Greek cruise, we shot about 1,800 pictures, and I definitely could’ve taken more.  We did fine with 2 4gb cards, but I’ll need a lot more space on our next trip – we’ve upgraded cameras, and I take even more pictures now.
  2. Take a spare battery.  I just ordered an extra one for our new camera.  My husband asked why – the batteries last for a loooong time in our DSLR.  I remember when our first battery quit on our last trip.  It was so nice to whip out the extra – and I didn’t even have to think about re-charging until I pulled out the second one.  What a treat.
  3. Make sure you have the ability to plug in your charger.  We have become sooo spoiled with cruising.  It’s so nice to not have to worry about taking converters since the ships are fitted to U.S. standards.  If you’re doing a foreign land-based vacay, triple check that you are taking the right kind of converter.
  4. Make sure you have the right camera bag for what you’re doing.  Read more about this in one of my earlier TTT posts.
  5. Do lots of research about magic hours and customs in the places you’re visiting.  For example, if you’re going to Venice, you have to go to St. Mark’s when the lights are on (usually 11:30-12:30 on weekdays and all day on weekends).  That’s not the perfect example since you’re not supposed to take pictures in there, but it’s the best I can think of right now.  It’s also important to understand the customs of the people you’ll be seeing.  For example, Amish people believe photos are a form of vanity and hate having their pictures taken.
  6. Pack all of your camera gear in your carry-on luggage.  I’d hate for it to get damaged or lost.  Be warned about carrying on a tripod – sometimes you may not get it through security.  There have been reports of people being required to check them as they may be considered weapons (esp. the ones with the spiky feet).

Happy shooting!

TTT: Travel Tip Tuesday

February 17, 2009 at 8:47 am 1 comment

News: Another plane crash

Very sad news:

A Continental Airlines plane crashed into a home near Buffalo, New York, late Thursday, killing all 49 passengers and crew members and a person in the home, authorities said. CNN

February 13, 2009 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

The tourist has been out sick…

Sorry I missed Travel Tip Tuesday this week.  As an apology, I’m sharing professional pics of me.  No, I didn’t hire a photographer.  Remember the vow renewal I mentioned before?  Ami & Scott’s photographers posted some more pictures recently, and I made the cut.  First up – the famous and wonderful Jessica Claire.  I’m the girl in the pink dress, not the adorable dog.

Annnd here I am with Mr. Feisty Tourist.  Isn’t he cute?  And whoa, Michael Norwood is pretty much AWESOME, right?

Mr & Mrs Feisty Tourist

Oh, you probably want to see Ami and Scott too.  Here’s a terrific one by the third star photographer at the shindig, Mark Brooke:

February 12, 2009 at 8:16 pm 1 comment

Doing good for NOLA and surrounding areas

Mardi Gras is coming soon – it’s February 24 this year.  What does that have to do with helping to revitalize New Orleans and surrounding areas?  One Tripso writer suggests that those who can’t help out by visiting should order a king cake!

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February 6, 2009 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

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